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Mancini open to Robinho leaving City for Santos

Roberto Mancini. (SUPPLIED)


Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits he will not stop Robinho leaving if the Brazil forward is not happy at Eastlands.

Robinho told a Brazilian radio station over the weekend that City's directors are happy to let him return home to join Santos on loan before the transfer window closes on February 1.

After watching Robinho score City's final goal in their 4-2 FA Cup fourth round win at Scunthorpe on Sunday, Mancini denied any knowledge of an imminent exit for the former Real Madrid star but did concede he would let him leave if he is not happy.

Robinho, who cost City a club record £32.5 million (Dh192.7m) last season, has repeatedly produced below-par displays and Mancini appeared to run out of patience when he replaced the winger after sending him on as substitute against Everton earlier this month.

"I think one player can stay in a squad only if he is happy, if he wants to play every game and if he wants to work every day. That is most important because the players and manager must be happy," Mancini said. "I hope he will stay here but it is important he will stay here happy and enjoy it. He is a very good player. I think he is enjoying Manchester. Hopefully in the end Robinho will stay here. In the next day the situation can change but at the moment he stays here and I am very happy for him."

Mancini knows he has several other attacking options so he has no pressing need to keep Robinho if he continues to under-perform. He said: "I have five or six strikers and I must decide every game between them. It is impossible to play with four strikers. Robinho did not play against Manchester United [in the League Cup] but he played against Scunthorpe."

Mancini was pleased with his side's FA Cup progress but admitted they face another tough test in the fifth round when Arsenal's conquerors Stoke visit Eastlands.

He added: "The FA Cup is very difficult and we saw that with Arsenal and Stoke. Every game will be hard and the next game against Stoke will be a difficult game."


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